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Combat Bad Breath With Good Oral Hygiene

Posted October 15, 2019 in Oral Hygiene

4 Minute Read: 

Once in a while, we all have the occasional day where our breath might be a little too much for anyone close to us to handle. Maybe we had an onion and garlic bagel that morning or a puppy got into the bathroom and chewed up our toothbrush. Sometimes, though, chronic bad breath can also be an issue. While there may be dozens of causes of chronic bad breath, the best way to avoid the problem altogether is to maintain good oral hygiene practices.

Asian woman checking her breath with her hand

Asian woman checking her breath with her hand

What Causes Bad Breath?


The most common cause of bad breath is food. Garlic, onion, fish—at one point or another we have all noticed someone who had a particularly pungent lunch and brought part of it back with them to school or the office. But you do not need to avoid these foods altogether; rather, you can add another brief step into your dental health regime that will eliminate most of the post-lunch breath you have been suffering from.

That step is using mouthwash or carrying a travel-size toothbrush with you to give your mouth a refresher after your meal. If you forget to grab either of these tools, sugar-free gum is a good last-resort way to break down all the residual food after a meal.


You might have noticed your breath producing more odor than usual when you are fighting a sickness like strep throat or other bacterial infections in the mouth. But infections can also develop when you do not maintain proper oral hygiene. The breakdown of food in your mouth fosters bacteria growth. If that bacteria is not removed through regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, then it is likely to take root between your gums and teeth. In the most extreme cases, dental extraction or root canal procedures may be necessary.

Halitosis, bad breath vector illustration diagram poster with persons mouth, tongue and teeth

Bad breath vector illustration diagram poster with a person’s mouth, tongue, and teeth

As these leftover particles of food rot in your mouth, bad breath inevitably takes hold. It is likely at this point that the development of decay and tartar will be so severe that you will need to visit a dentist to have it removed with a deep cleaning. Since plaque and tartar buildup is not easily removed with a toothbrush, there will be nothing you can do at that point except prevent any further development.


Not only is smoking terrible for your health, but the residual smell of your cigarettes also sticks to your clothes, belongings, and breath. The smell of tobacco is distinct and is likely to linger around even if you rinse your mouth or chew gum. The only solution to this problem is to quit smoking.

What Are the Best Dental Hygiene Practices?

We know that keeping up with the latest dental recommendations is not an easy task, so here are four ways to ensure you are keeping your mouth as clean and odorless as possible:

1. Brush Properly

Here are some pointers for making sure you are doing everything you can to avoid bad breath:

  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day
  • Use circular—not back and forth—motions
  • Keep your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
  • Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth

2. Make Sure You Are Flossing

Even if you follow the perfect brushing protocol, some material will remain behind between your teeth. The only way to remove this stubborn plaque is to floss regularly—at least once per day—and that includes the teeth in the back of your mouth as well.

Flat lay composition with toothbrushes and oral hygiene products

Flat lay composition with toothbrushes and oral hygiene products.

3. Rinse and Repeat

Similar to brushing, we typically recommended that you rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash at least twice per day. The liquid will soak into all the nooks of the mouth and eliminate any bacteria that can cause bad breath.

4. Keep Your Dentist Appointment

Regardless of how vigilant you are about prevention, conditions like cavities and infections can still occur. This is why one of the most important parts of your dental hygiene routine is to see a dentist regularly to ensure there is nothing going on inside of your mouth that could cause a problem.

If you are dealing with occasional or chronic bad breath that you would like to resolve, give our office a call at 575-524-3722 to schedule a consultation today!